Why I Don't Love You Anymore

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Why I Don't Love You Anymore[1]
Work In Progress
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank
60 minutes
Preceded by: Rose
Followed by: Tell Me What To Do

Have you, uh, ever been in a restaurant or a theater...

Why I Don't Love You Anymore is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series Work In Progress. It was originally broadcast in 1986.


Joe complains about people who befoul public toilets, imagines punishing them, then people who play their records too loud, those with boomboxes, the mess in subway platforms, movie theatres, panhandlers.

10: Joe tells of going to the Childe Harold[1] with his friend Mike.[2] They pick up a young dancer, Rachel, go to Joe's apartment. Mike gets handsy with Rachel, starts taking off her clothes despite her complaints, while Joe plays the piano; Joe breaks it up, sends Rachel home.

13:30: Joe talks about freedom, that we imagine ourselves free but, in practice, are enslaved by jobs, family, social expectations…

18:10: Joe tells us about Dave. He's writing How To Identify A Roadkill. He printed up bumper stickers that look like DC's license plate but bear the legend, "Washington DC: We Be A Capitol City".[3] He works as a courier.

22:30: After work Dave drives to the Gold Rush, DC's last strip club.[4] The dancers work for money, but Dave never pays; somehow he gets others to pay for his drinks. Dave's taking notes for a novel about it. He's going to run for mayor. He comes from a large redneck family.[5]

27:40: Dave shows up at Joe's apartment drunk and tearful: he says he's cracking up. Joe tries to comfort him.

30:40: Joe tells of working in a gas station in a desert. One night a fellow arrives, driving backwards, who had driven hundreds of miles that way because his headlights were broken; another fellow arrives driving on 2 tires, not having had the time to replace its 2 flats. The 2 men get into a fight.

32:20: The next day a man with a car full of beavers (he bred them) arrives; most of them are dead.

32:40: 'A while ago' a young couple with a child argue about which is the better parent, leave without the boy, who wanders off into the desert without his shoes.

33:30: Joe gets a letter from his wife (Kathleen), who used to live with him at the gas station, had left 12 years ago. Despite the decline in business because the new freeway bypassed him, Joe stays, confident she will return.

34:40: A bus-full of mutes arrives late in the summer. They pass notes to each other.

35:40: One November a few years ago a nervous man stays all day and night. He seems to age 15 years overnight. Joe calls the hospital, which takes him.

37: The area has suffered a number of natural disasters, but all have bypassed Joe's gas station. Joe met a man in a sand funnel who looked like him, had similar stories; the next day Joe wondered if it hadn't been a dream.[6]

38:50: Joe sees a stretch limousine; he resents them, imagines making their owners hurt, organizing a pie corps to pie them.

44:40: Joe wonders how to define quality of life; we hear the sounds of writing on a chalkboard. He remembers a lecture by a sociologist to his whole high school class about their life goals.

48:20: Joe speculates about the broke song-writer who writes a hit song; now he has to deal with his success and fame, becomes captive to living up to his image, a 24/7 job, which can end any moment.

51: Joe speculates about an heir to a great fortune. He cites the example of 'Billy Marx' (a made-up name for someone Joe knew), son of a real-estate magnate who died young from over-work. Billy is a 'gentleman' who wastes his time; his sister imagines herself an artist, has affairs with artists, plays at painting but never takes it seriously.

55:30: Joe says the unemployed poor have all the free time they want; he observes that they live empty meaningless lives.

Legacy Synopsis
  • Having an upset stomach in a public place and discovering a befouled toilet. Forming a bathroom etiquette hit squad, the Sanitation Corps, to call out and humiliate those who leave messes in bathrooms.
  • Getting vengeance on inconsiderate neighbors who make noise at night by entering their apartment as a floor waxer and re-wiring their hi-fi with an internal power source and a remote control you control. Degaussing their cassettes and talking in a loud voice when you meet them in the hallway.
  • Kidnapping boom-box carriers and locking them in sensory deprivation chambers.
  • Is befouling our environment uniquely American? The garbage on the floor of subways and theaters. People are animals. The line between begging and mugging.
  • Joe and his friend pick up a young ballet dancer in a bar and return to Joe's apartment. She is nearly raped while Joe plays the piano.
  • Freedom dominates our pop-culture, yet we feel enslaved. Consumerism and commercials which play on our anxiety. Time saving devices.
  • The story of Dave, a laid-back, cynical, but good-hearted photographer. "How to identify a road kill," DC bumper stickers. He's a regular at a strip club, makes a facetious bid for mayor, turns to Joe on the verge of a breakdown.
  • Joe the gas station attendant: A man with broken headlights drives backwards, collides with a man who's been driving with two flat tires for months and only has two wheels. A car full of beavers. A couple who fight over who is the best parent drive off and abandon their child. Joe waits for his wife to return - she left on an errand twelve years ago. A bus full of people who've taken a vow of silence, with note pads on chains around their necks. A man arrives, looks at a map, remains sitting in his car for days, shrivels and ages. Natural catastrophes spare the station. Joe meets himself after passing through a sand funnel.
  • Bringing class war to Limousine passengers: forming a pie corps, reporting their cars stolen, musing their hair, planting roach lice. *A classroom lecture on life goals, quality of life. The leisure class has time to go insane. A singer becomes famous, troubled. A man inherits wealth, finds no comfort. The tragedy of the unemployed poor.


This is an incomplete record of the music in this program. If you can add more information, please do.

External links


  1. a tavern in DC
  2. Mike Fremuth
  3. in 1986 the real plate bore the legend "Washington DC: A Capitol City"
  4. 'The Gold Rush Nightclub, at 821 14th Street NW, began in 1965 as a fairly tame nightspot. By the early 1970s, when this postcard was printed, it featured go-go girls on the first floor and an "exotic variety review" on the 2nd. This shot is of the Nashville Room on the 3rd floor, which featured live bands.'
  5. perhaps the same as Redneck Rounder's
  6. Maybe it was Ray from In The Middle Of Nowhere